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Babcock to upgrade WPD’s EC135 fleet

3rd April 2018 - 09:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Babcock has received a contract to upgrade Western Power Distribution’s (WPD's) EC135 helicopter fleet.

The contract will include integrating new mission systems, IR camera equipment, LiDAR laser surveying equipment, ergonomically optimised workstations in the cockpit and cabin, next-generation mission system management software, touch screen controls and an entirely reconfigured workspace into each of WPD's five aircraft.

The upgrade will create a new level of capability for each aircraft, which support WPD in delivering electricity to over 7.8 million customers in the Midlands, South West England and Wales.

Clifton Lombard, business development director, Babcock, said: ‘WPD need aircraft to perform highly specific, mission critical tasks – particularly monitoring and surveying their network which covers an area of over 55,500 square kilometres. We will be integrating a range of next generation technologies and will be delivering a bespoke mission system solution that exactly meets WPD helicopter unit's operational requirements.

'The new interiors, layout and on-board equipment will be integrated with safety and quality as the key priorities, ensuring that each crew member has access to the correct equipment so they can work together as an effective team, where safety is always the first priority.’

The first aircraft is expected to arrive at Babcock's Staverton facility in July 2018 and the full fleet is expected to have received the upgrade and be fully operational by the end of 2019.

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